Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
April 16, 2001
Bring Christ to the world, Collins says at Chrism Mass
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
EDMONTON — Edmonton "Our secular mission is to infiltrate this world with the presence of Christ," Archbishop Thomas Collins said in his homily, during the celebration of the Chrism Mass at St. Joseph Basilica, April 9.
"By virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation we are all called to move into every part of the world and bring Christ," Collins reminded the people.
Through Baptism and Confirmation, we become sharers in the priesthood of Christ and so his mission becomes our mission, he said.
"We need to work more so that the Lord's presence be felt more in the secular world, in the family, in the school, in the workplace, within our neighbourhood, within the parish and within the diocese," stressed Collins.
During the Chrism Mass the oils and chrism used for the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick and Holy Orders were blessed and consecrated, and later distributed to representatives and pastors of every parish in the archdiocese.
Collins explained that the anointing of Christ is fundamental to a life of Christian discipleship.
"We are anointed to receive the strength of the Lord," said Collins, who presided at the Chrism Mass for the second time since he became archbishop of Edmonton.
The sweet smelling chrism signifies the Holy Spirit, the gift of Christ, who is the anointed one, he said before the oils and chrism were blessed and consecrated.
"The Holy Spirit strengthens us and enables us to bring the presence of the Lord to the world," Collins said.
In responding to our mission we need to know our faith, pray the Sacred Scripture and be witnesses of Christ everywhere, emphasized Collins.
At this Mass, Collins, retired Archbishop Joseph MacNeil and 128 priests renewed their commitment to priestly service.
"Let us continue praying for vocations to the priesthood, religious and consecrated life and lay ministry and encourage those who are called to respond to their calling," said Collins.
The needy and the vulnerable everywhere need the presence of Christ and we are called to be there for them, he said.
"It is very edifying to be reminded that when we are baptized and confirmed we are anointed by Christ and that through that anointing we are called to a mission to the world," Doreen Chapman, a member of St. Agnes Parish, told the WCR after the celebration.
Collins illustrated how the different sacraments of the Church are interconnected to each other.
"We need to be healed in the sacrament of Reconciliation which is made possible because of the gift of ordained priesthood," he said.
We are able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist because of the same gift of ordination, he added.
Throughout the world Chrism Mass is celebrated every year during the Holy Week.
Collins celebrated a second Chrism Mass April 10 in the St. Paul Diocese where he is currently serving as apostolic administrator.
In the Edmonton Archdiocese representatives from all the parishes, lay ministers, religious women and men of different congregations and archdiocesan clergy participated in the celebration.
The sense of unity becomes more pronounced when the whole diocese comes together, said Matthew Hoven, a student at Newman Theological College.
"It's almost like World Youth Day," he added.
"I am not in my diocese but I celebrated with the same one big Church. I felt at home," shared Lynda Boire, who is visiting from Victoria.
Moved by the symbols and congregation's responsive participation in the liturgy, Mona Goodman of St. Albert Parish, told the WCR how profound it is to belong to a community of believers, who whole-heartedly expresses its faith.
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